Dry, robust and rich yet also soft and mild, no nose-prickle. Dense, ripe fruit; dark cherry compote. Some smokiness, overall great depth and finesse. Cleansing, not cloying. A herb garden after rain, smoked paprika, salted almond. In time, a fascinating salty edge dominates. Water increases the power and raises more smoky scents, and sweetness (embers and a sweet almost pear-like note below). Deep, complex, maritime too - fresh fish, boat varnish, seaweed.
Drinks well at natural strength; mild for Talisker, with little pepper in the finish. Volcanic; erupts with flavour. Chewy, rich; a hint of burnt chocolate-cake sweetness, then immense beechwood smoke and brine break over the tongue. More approachable with water; good mouthfeel. Sweet, more clearly than the nose suggests, then distinctly salty. Retains the classic Talisker gear-shift half-way along the palate but here the chilli hit is subdued.
Very long, warming and gingery, with late smoky cocoa. With water, smokier still; smoky bacon lingers.
Simply stunning, with a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity, great depth and a smoky, earthy richness. An excellent, mellow yet vigorous example of Talisker.